VMware or Microsoft Series – VDI – A Look at Supportability and More!

A little bit of history first.  Virtual Desktop computing has been slowly etching its way into more IT plans year over year.  The advantages can be enormous when isolating the end user into a virtual desktop that looks and acts like their regular everyday PC.  Of course the ROI has been quite difficult to manage especially when looking at large deployments, and when performance must be guaranteed to match or exceed the current computing requirements.

VMware jumped in the VDI ring many years ago mainly through some acquisitions, and for the first few years struggled to gain momentum against Citrix.  After all Citrix owned this market for many years almost solo.   Citrix had the client connectivity piece so well-honed that it was quite difficult for any other vendor to compete in the space.  VMware’s answer to this was to license the PCoIP protocol from Teradici.  And so for the past few years, VMware has continued to take some market share from Citrix on the VDI front.  Which brings us to the present.

Enter Microsoft Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services(RDS).  Most of us think Read more

Get started as an “Early Expert” on Windows Server 2012 R2 with this FREE eBook!

Research has shown that approximately 65% to 70% of organizations today have more than one hypervisor deployed. This presents a large opportunity for IT Professionals to increase their technical differentiation and value in the IT marketplace by supporting multiple hypervisors. Using this free eBook and the “Early Experts” study program, IT Professionals can easily extend their professional knowledge and skills to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V on a flexible schedule as time permits.

In this article, get started down your path Read more

All New Free Azure Hands-On Labs Coming to A City Near You, Seats Fill Quickly, Register Now!

Join us at this FREE full-day hands-on event to experience the power of Hybrid Cloud. Our field-experienced Technical Evangelists will guide you through the process of jumpstarting your knowledge on Windows Azure Storage, Virtual Machines and Virtual Networking for key IT Pro scenarios. Complete all of the hands-on labs and you’ll walk away with a fully functional Windows Server 2012 cloud-based test lab running Windows Azure!

Session Requirements:
Be sure to bring a modern laptop that is capable of running the following prerequisites. For more detailed system specs, click on the city nearest you.

  • Modern operating system, including Windows 7, Windows 8, Linux or Mac OS X
  • Modern web browser supporting HTML5 and Javascript, including IE 9 or later, Chrome, Firefox and Safari
  • A remote desktop (RDP) client – included with Windows platforms. Mac and Linux RDP clients can be downloaded for free

All participants registering for the event should have an active Windows Azure subscription. If you have not already done so, sign up for a FREE trial of the Windows Azure platform and services, including access to the Virtual Machines preview.

Register now and save your seat for this FREE, full-day event in your local area. For more information or to register, select the city near you: http://technetevents.com/azureitcamps/

Atlanta Windows Infrastructure and Virtualization User Group – New Leadership Elections Coming Up Soon!

From Gary Olsen:  There have been some changes this summer – changing the focus and name of AADUG to WINVUG to cast a wider net for Windows Server Technology to include infrastructure, Virtualization and of course Active Directory, and related areas.

Our President, Joshua Kirk has had to leave for personal reasons and Adi Feldgajer and Thomas Dickinson have completed their term of office as Vice President and Secretary respectively.  I want to thank all 3 of these good men for their dedication to this UG, being founding Read more

Virtual Processor Scheduling – How Vmware and Microsoft Hypervisors Work at the CPU Level

Have you ever wondered how virtual machines get access to the physical processor cores in the server?  Ever wonder why one or two VMs run slow sporadically?  The topic today is Virtual Processor Scheduling.  There are no good books to read on this subject, trust me I’ve looked.  Maybe in 10 years as a look back at the history of virtual computing, but not today.  So let’s try to shed some light on the subject for today’s article in our VMware or Microsoft? – The Complete Series.  

First things first.  It is fairly simple to schedule against physical processors when the virtual machines each have a single virtual processor and there are plenty of physical cores to go around.  We (VMware and Microsoft) can send the workload to the first physical core that is available, easy.  There are algorithms for figuring out the best processor core to send the workload too, but I will not go into advanced crazy algorithm mathematics today.

Now the trick/challenge/opportunity/problem (hey whatever you want to call it) that really comes into play when you have multiple virtual CPUs inside the virtual machines.  The original architecture of operating systems made a perfectly good assumption that basically says “Ok I see 4 CPUs, I own all 4, period.  I mean who else is close by to use them?  No one. I’m lonely, but all powerful.”  Isn’t that nearly always the case?  Take Lord Voldemort for example, sure he had resources, but no one really wanted to be near him.  <voice from overhead> Virtual processing is the subject Tommy. </voice from overhead> Oh right, sorry folks, continue on.

So when VMware re-introduced virtualization into the market, handling the single CPU wasn’t a big issue. However, bigger workloads call for more processors and therefore in order to scale, a new way to schedule CPU cycles against any given processor core was necessary.  This is where Gang Scheduling comes into play.  VMware, drawing upon the methods generated by the older Unix technology, uses a Gang Scheduler approach.  What this means in basic terms is this:  When a multi-vCPU machine requires processor time, all of the vCPUs are “ganged” together and scheduled to perform work against the physical cores. This is done in order to streamline the process, and attempt to keep the processing synchronized.  In other words, like networking, we don’t like a lot of packets arriving out of turn on a load balanced network, the same stance is assumed in the VMware CPU scheduling process. 

Hyper-V does things a bit differently.  Virtual processors Read more

Security, patching, features, functionality – Great post on Hyper-V versus ESX

Our team is currently running a blog series to demystify some of the misinformation, rumors, etc that exist in the market today concerning ESX versus Hyper-V.  Chris Avis posted today’s article in the series which centers around patching, security, and functionality.  One thing I would add is, even if you purchase ESX licensing, without vCenter you are still sunk when it comes to moving the virtual machines around.  Heck who knows they might have to address this in a few weeks at VMWorld.  Any takers?   Alas..I digress… give the article a read here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/chrisavis/archive/2013/08/14/vmware-or-microsoft-simplified-microsoft-hyper-v-server-2012-host-patching-greater-security-and-more-uptime.aspx

You can find a complete list of the series here as well:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/kevinremde/archive/2013/08/12/vmware-or-microsoft-the-complete-series.aspx

 

PowerShell Toolbuilding Workshop – August 13th – Microsoft Campus – Alpharetta, GA

Join us for a PowerShell Toolbuilding Workshop on August 13th at the Microsoft campus in Alpharetta.  For more details and to sign up click here, while you are at it register for the Southeast Information Technology Professionals official meetup page as well:

http://www.meetup.com/Southeast-Information-Technology-Professionals/events/129998102/

Event Summary:  A script is something you create to automate some process. It may be long, is usually a bit ugly, and makes assumptions about how it will be run. Tools, on the other hand, are clean, powerful works of art that can be shared with others. In this presentation we will take a script and turn it into a tool by converting it into an advanced function, adding cmdlet style help, creating parameters, and accepting pipeline input. Then we will create a module to house our new advanced function and even create our own format specification. You will walk away with a new tool in your toolbox, the knowledge how to create your own tools, and even some ideas on what tools to create. This presentation will be based on material covered in the Learn PowerShell Tool-making in a Month of Lunches by Don Jones and Jeff Hicks available from Manning.

Hyper-V for VMware Experts Webcast – With Live Q/A – Postponed til Thursday 8/22 – Noon EST

Hosted by the Virtualization Technology User Group, this webcast will get you started on the right path to understanding Hyper-V, especially if you already know VMware technologies.  We are seeing a great deal of momentum for Hyper-V in a wide range of companies from small to large. Microsoft has made great progress in providing functionality and capabilities that make it a viable server virtualization alternative for all environments from test and development to mission-critical applications. This webcast is focused on providing information about Microsoft Hyper-V specifically for VMware experts so they understand how these two solutions map to one another for those considering a multi-hypervisor strategy or just want to be smarter about another major virtualization technology.  Sign up here, it’s free!

http://www.vtug.com/webcasts/webcast-hyper-v-for-vmware-experts-part-2/